Home' Greymouth Star : November 11th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 9
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uLetters to the editor
1620 - Forty-one Pilgrims aboard the
Mayflower, anchored off Massachusetts, sign a
compact calling for a “ body politick”.
1778 - British forces take St Lucia, West
Indies, from French.
1880 - Infamous bushranger-killer Ned Kelly
is hanged at Melbourne Jail.
1918 - Armistice for World War One
is signed between Allies and Germany.
Independent republic of Poland is proclaimed
by Jozef Piludski.
1920 - Body of unknown British soldier is
buried in Westminster Abbey.
1940 - In World War Two, British Fleet Air
Arm attacks Taranto in Italy, destroying three
battleships and two cruisers.
1942 - German troops enter unoccupied
France, taking control of Limoges and Vichy,
and reach the frontier with Spain; Corsica is
occupied by German and Italian troops.
1945 - Death of Jerome Kern, US composer
of musicals including Roberta and Show Boat.
1961 - Soviet city Stalingrad is renamed
1964 - Food shortages in India
provoke riots in Kerala State.
1965 - Ian Smith declares
1975 - Australian Governor
General Sir John Kerr dismisses
Prime Minister Gough Whitlam,
dissolves both houses of parliament
and appoints Malcolm Fraser
caretaker prime minister.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Louis Antoine Bougainville, French
navigator (1729-1811); Fyodor Mikhailovitch
Dostoevsky, Russian author (1821-1881);
George Patton, US general (1885-
1945); Kurt Vonnegut Jr, US author
(1922-2007); Doug Frost, Australian
swimming coach (1943-); Fuzzy
Zoeller, US golfer (1951-); Demi
Moore, US actress (1962-); James
Morrison, Australian jazz musician
(1962-); Calista Flockhart, US
actress (1964-); Vince Colosimo,
Australian actor (1966-); Leonard DiCaprio,
US actor (1974-).
“ Private opinion creates public opinion
That is why private opinion, and private
behaviour, and private conversation are so
terrifyingly important.” — Jan Struther (nee
Joyce Anstruther), English poet (1901-53).
“ Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all
the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and
every mouth that has not kissed him.”
— I Kings 19:18
The proof of the
pudding is in the
eating. This will be
the Greymouth Hospital’s new £50,000
kitchen and cafeteria block will echo to the
clatter of pots and pans preparing the first
meal to come from the block which has been
18 months in the making. The new kitchen is a
modern mar vel of construction and amenities.
Scheduled to start shortly is the hospital’s
new ‘meals on wheels’ ser vice.
A 23-year-old Strongman miner, Morris
Thomas Gray was in a ‘fair’ condition in the
Greymouth Hospital following an accident in
the mine this morning. A mine official said this
afternoon that it was thought Mr Gray, who
lives at 9 Kilgour Street, Runanga, was struck
by a piece of rock which fell from the roof.
His injuries were a dislocated hip and
abrasions to the scalp. The accident occurred
in a section of the mine known as Slant Dip
in the Rise Panel. Mine deputies were still
investigating the accident early this afternoon.
Pioneer South Westland pilot Mr Arthur
Nancekivell, who had the distinction of being
the only overseas person to receive an official
invitation to the opening of the new Haast
Pass highway, has left Hokitika at the start of
his trip back to his Sydney home.
West Coast Airways Ltd (1933) was pioneered
by Mr Nancekivell and Mr W H Stopforth.
The three remaining shareholders, Mayor of
Hokitika Mr W J Richards, Mr Stopforth and
Mr Hugh Preston, farewelled Mr Nancekivell
from the Hokitika station yesterday.
uFood for thought
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Grim future for many Egyptians after plane tragedy
ourism in Sharm al-Sheikh
was picking up again after
years of political turmoil,
with so many Russians
enjoying the sun and fun
that local beach aerobics
instructors used the visitors’ own language
rather than Arabic or English.
Life was at last starting to look good
for residents of the Red Sea resort, but
that was before an airliner taking Russian
tourists home broke up over the Sinai
Peninsula, where Islamic State militants
suspected of planting a bomb on the plane
are waging an insurgency.
Now the future looks grim for thousands
of Egyptians, from taxi drivers to diving
instructors, who flocked to Sharm al-
Sheikh to find jobs. One tour company
official predicted holidays might now have
to be discounted by up to 50%.
“I have been working in Sharm for three
years but this is the first time I have ever
seen it so empty,” Ahmed Rabie said. He
spoke outside the cafe he runs in Naama
Bay, at the resort ’s heart. Chairs were
stacked on tables and not a single person
was sitting inside.
“Right now, all these cafes and
restaurants would be full.”
Rabie pays £E30,000 ($5719) a
month to rent the space, in addition to
He said many small business owners had
shut up shop after western governments
announced that the Airbus 321 was
likely brought down by a bomb and then
suspended flights to Sharm al-Sheikh,
with Russia following suit.
“ We are waiting for two or three days
to see what happens but if it keeps on
like this we will shut down and leave,”
With low prices, cheap package deals
and plenty of hotel rooms, Sharm al-
Sheikh was a driving force behind Egypt ’s
efforts to lure back visitors.
It was starting to buzz.
Then the Russian plane crashed, with
Islamic State claiming it was responsible.
This immediately alarmed Egyptians,
acutely aware of how vulnerable tourism is
to such violence.
On November 17, 1997 Islamic militants
descended on Queen Hatshepsut ’s temple
near the Nile town of Luxor. In short
order they shot or hacked to death 58
tourists and four Egyptians.
The following January and February,
visitor numbers were down almost 60%
from the previous year. The industry
staged a remarkable comeback, but it took
Last month, Tourism Minister Hisham
Zaazou said tourism — a pillar of
the economy — expected moderate
growth this year with the aid of a global
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has
restored some stability since the army
toppled Islamist President Mohamed
Mursi in 2013 following mass protests
against his rule, but not enough to
persuade large numbers of foreigners that
it is safe to return.
Last year, 9.9 million tourists visited
Egypt, a far cry from the 14.7 million who
came in 2010, the year before the Arab
Spring revolutions convulsed the Middle
An official at Sharm Travel Solutions,
a British-owned Sharm al-Sheikh tour
company, said holidays in the resort could
be discounted by up to 50% if they can be
sold at all.
“They may sell these holidays at half
price but with flights suspended will
anyone buy them?” the official said.
Other tour operators are offering
holidays to Sharm al-Sheikh with price
cuts of up to £E200 ($38).
A walk through Naama Bay reveals idle
establishments, all with Russian signs to
cater to the resort’s largest clientele.
The resort ’s famous beaches fare only
slightly better, with most just half full.
The prospect of a sharp decline in
tourism receipts has left many scrambling
to make sense of the sudden air disaster.
Some are in denial.
“There are invisible foreign hands behind
this,” Mohamed Abdelaziz, who runs a
safari trip business, said.
“ Egypt lies in a strategic location and
other countries are spiteful of this. Sharm
is very safe, the police are even sometimes
unfair to us to make sure it is safe for all
Many tourists inter viewed agreed that
Sharm al-Sheikh felt safe. Airport security
was the problem, not the resort itself.
“ Personally I felt sorry for Sharm as a
resort when I heard about the plane crash.
I’ve been here 14 times and I’ve never had
a problem,” British holidaymaker Vini
If it turns out a bomb brought down
the Russian plane, however, it would
“discourage me from coming back,” he
The crash is a blow to an already battered
Sharm al-Sheikh tourism scene, taxi driver
Mohamed Odei said.
“ No one used to come here except the fat
cats, people with thick wallets. Now if a
tourist wants a budget holiday, they come
here. And even that is coming to an end. ”
Airport security was the main concern
that drove British Prime Minister David
Cameron to suspend flights to Sharm al-
Sheikh. New regulations are now in place
but for many it is too late.
“ Egyptians don’t search well until there is
a catastrophe,” Odei said, driving his taxi
through a checkpoint outside the airport.
Policemen with assault rifles and soldiers
circle his car, checking the trunk and his
Odei, originally from the Nile Delta city
of Mansoura, has been working in Sharm
al-Sheikh for seven years. He initially ran
a restaurant but was forced to shut it down
in 2005 after a suicide bomber attacked a
market place and a hotel.
He noticed a sharp drop in passengers
after flights were suspended.
“ We now get maybe 30% of the
passengers we usually get, and they all
want to go to the airport,” he said. “ I have
never seen such crowds at the departure
gate before. Usually it ’s the arrivals one.”
British and Russian passengers queue to leave the airport of the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
In her latest letter in the Kumara
Goldtrails newsletter, Rosey Searle
outlines her point of view on the recent
debacle over the Chinese garden and the
Her banner quote, ‘united we stand,
divided we fall’, is attributed to Aesop in
his fable The Four Oxen and the Lion.
In her letter, Rosey details her
contribution over several years to the
Kumara community. No question about
Rosey goes on to say that she ‘was there
when the invitations for a public meeting
were received’. Therein lies the beginning
of this sorry saga. Because it is this very
same meeting that is now held up as
the holy grail by the Kumara Residents
Trust (KRT) as its mandate to take our
However . . . the ‘invitation’ was
received (possibly, as it was not in a
stamped, addressed envelope and could
be considered junk mail) two days prior
to the meeting. How did people with
property in Kumara but living elsewhere
receive their invitation?
The invitation did not state that a vote
was to be taken to access the $400,000
endowment fund for the Chinese garden.
The spouse of the chairwoman of the KRT
for warded the motion at the meeting to
take a vote. The ‘one vote per household’
rule was not scrutinised. The proxy votes
were not scrutinised. ‘ What?’ you say. How
could there be proxy votes when no one
knew there was to be a vote?
Yes, Rosey, we must all bow to a
democratic decision, even when it is not
our choice. This presupposes that the
decision was based on full disclosure of all
facts done in a timely way to allow proper
debate. This did not happen.
We all need to revisit this decision
in open and honest debate. Then let
The Westland District Council is finally
going to do a review of their resource
consent processes. Great. However, they
have decided to contract out the ser vices
to The Catalyst Group, from the North
Are the ratepayers of Westland district
seeing yet more money being wasted on
consultants? Would it not be cheaper to
use our paid council managers to do a
simple benchmark process with the Grey
District Council and West Coast Regional
Council? In fact, as we are already paying
rates to the regional council would it not
be even more cost effective for some of the
RMA consent processes to be handled by
the regional council? This already happens
with the Grey council. This would be a
cost saving for our council, or do they have
With reference to the article ‘IRD
cuts Greymouth office reception hours
(Greymouth Star, November 2), I endorse
the cut in reception hours. I only use it
information I go on-line. If I need to
make an appointment, that is easy as well.
So yes, to a degree the reception has been
made redundant. Sign of the times in a
Pete de Breuk
The first flag referendum is a
psychological manipulation of a vote for
an alternative flag. What is missing in the
first referendum is the Union Jack, which
everyone should be able to vote for if they
wish. Instead, everyone has to vote for an
alternative design, so there is no choice.
This is Mr Key ’s legacy and a
smokescreen — and a waste of
It was interesting reading the recent
media release by the Health and Disability
Commissioner (HDC) about the
improvement in serious event investigation
on the West Coast and using this as an
example of patient safety and quality
improvement across the system. I am
curious to know how the quality of HDC
investigations are assessed.
It was only earlier this year that
the coroner released a report where
a misdiagnosis and multiple errors
contributing to the death of a patient
were omitted from the conclusion because
they were not detected or reported by the
experts providing reports to the coroner
or the HDC. The HDC has not explained
the omissions nearly six years after the
In a 2007 report to the HDC, the West
Coast DHB was named as one of the
top two DHBs understanding a safety
culture. Unfortunately, after that report
considerable effort went into destroying
the safety culture, I believe. Investigating
incidents after a patient is harmed is
something a safety culture tries to avoid as
quality care tries to avoid harm. A safety
culture tries to ensure that in each key
areas of health care there are people with
adequate level of expertise within their
owns areas of clinical care as well as an
understanding of available human and
Such a culture recognises mistakes
happen and cannot be eliminated but
it can be minimised and harm avoided.
A team structure is created where each
person takes responsibility for their own
action and ensures there is super vision
of junior staff and an adequate support
network for senior staff.
Quality of care can be difficult to assess
as most people do not complain and often
are capable of getting better from many
illnesses on their own accord. Inter viewing
patients with multiple medical problems,
difficult to diagnose problems, treatment
failures or treatment complications can
give an idea of the quality of hospital care.
Hypocrisy of health
The appalling hypocrisy of politicians
and the government agencies supposedly
established to protect public health system
patients is again shown by three recent
items in this newspaper.
Firstly, the continuing hand-wringing by
former Labour Health Minister Annette
King, this time lamenting the state of
community health ser vices (Greymouth
Star, November 3). While the National
government are no better on this matter,
Parliament collectively connived for years
in shutting the residential mental health
facilities which provided the necessary care
for those unable to cope with living in the
community. Mrs King cannot deny her
part in this unfortunate matter.
The hypocrisy of the various agencies
supposedly involved in protecting victims
of incompetent treatment is shown by
the Health and Disability Commission’s
praising the “improvement ” in the West
Coast DHB’s ‘serious and sentinel event
investigation, reporting and follow-up
actions’ (Greymouth Star, November
5). The experiences of current victims
of West Coast DHB evasion of issues
raised makes a mockery of such a claim.
Further, the excuse sometimes given for
the three-year delays in the commission’s
own investigations — that it takes time
to collect the relevant information —
raises the question as to why, in the age
of instant communication, it takes so
Finally, the Greymouth Star’s
November 2 article citing the
Ombudsman referring me back to the
HDC over a matter I raised shows the sort
of musical chairs game being played with
people who ask questions that bureaucrats
and politicians do not want to answer.
With successive Ministers of Health
saying it is “not appropriate” for them
to become involved with DHB issues
raised with them, and with people sent
around in ever-diminishing circles by the
various other agencies, there is simply no
effective means whatsoever for people to
raise legitimate complaints and have them
properly dealt with.
I shall continue to highlight this
disgraceful blot on the administration of
the New Zealand public health ser vice.
Democrats for Social Credit
The Labour Party does not seem to have
learned the lessons of their own past.
Last weekend, Labour leader Andrew
Little was on the record as stating
that the Labour Party was taking the
development of their policy on capital
gains tax off the table for now because
‘the resources of government were
required to analyse the policies properly’.
Can someone pinch him please and
remind Mr Little that the taxpayers’
money is not there for political parties to
use it to develop their own policies? That
is what their membership is for, to raise
money so parties can work out what it is
they actually stand for.
Granted, that has been a problem for
Labour for some time but that does not
mean they can use the taxpayer as a bank.
Helen Clark learned that lesson in 2005;
perhaps someone needs to remind the
current leader of it?
To the military — stop asking a local
Westport cleaning company to clean the
toilets at the Westport Racecourse. Is this
is where our military expenditure is going?
This is an international exercise. Does
every soldier in Afghanistan get a personal
valet in the field?
Boys, dig a hole and get with the
What a great event, the 50th anniversary
of the Haast to Paringa road reunion
was in Haast over the weekend. It was
attended by over 160 people and was very
nostalgic and enjoyable.
I attended as a representative of the
Haast-Hollyford Highway Ltd project
team and it was good to catch up with
people who had been there and done that
One thing that Damien O’Connor, the
West Coast-Tasman MP, conveyed to me
was that he was not against the proposed
road from Haast to Hollyford and he felt
that Andrew Little was pro-development
and on this basis would ‘likely’ support
it. This was quite different to my
understanding so I think it opens a door.
Many of the older people present were
disappointed to hear that Durham Havill
could not attend to speak about the
proposed Haast-Hollyford highway as he
had just come out of hospital. We all wish
Mer v Halliday
Haast-Hollyford Highway Ltd
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